Here on this site, I often encountered one advice regarding salary negotiations for a new job: Don't state the salary you aim for, as this allows the hiring manager to match this figure even if he/she has a higher budget.
I wonder if this is applicable in all business cultures. I'm a (non-software) engineer in Germany. I often read that at least for first jobs after graduation, the standard interview question for the target salary is more a gauge for ones sense of realism re. pay, not so much a part of negotiation. Case in point: At my first job where salary was not fixed anyway because of standing collective wage agreements. At my second job, I got paid more than I asked for. But maybe I did poor research, now I'm pretty sure I'm underpaid.
To get back to my question: Is it acceptable in German industry culture to withhold ones target salary, or does this rather raise red flags with HR people (considered rude, "not playing by he rules)?
Edit to add To clarify, I'm not asking about how entry level wages come about, I'm asking about wether I should tell my target salary. I'm not convinced that negotiating tactics from the anglophone world, possibly from the software industry, work equally well in german business culture so I'm looking for answer that specifically adress engineers in Germany.